Hidden Gems

Saturday December 28 | 11:00 hr
Pulse Ensemble, vocal quartet  

Music by Sweelinck, Sibelius, De Rore, Gombert and Josquin des Prez

The Pulse Ensemble brings a musical ode to the turbulent history of the Utrecht Cathedral, in the Michael’s Chapel: a hidden jewel in the Dom Tower. The former private chapel of the bishop was connected to the church by an air bridge, so that the bishop could walk into the church from his living quarters without having to walk down the street. Even before the collapse of the nave in 1674, the church and the tower were separate from each other. Even when the Dom Tower was being built, Geert Groote, canon and later deacon of the Dom, warned of the awe-inspiring height of the building, which according to him predicted little good – nothing but ruins. Groote was the founder of the Modern Devotion, in which a more personal relationship with faith was sought, as a spiritual imitation of Christ, elaborating on early mystics and visionaries. Due to its sober sobriety, the current can in a certain way also be called a harbinger of the reformation. With songs that cover hundreds of years of history, the storm of 1674, also referred to as the ‘Terrible Tempeest’, is finally considered, which finally tore the Dom Church in two. The Pulse Ensemble sings a thirteenth-century Gregorian chant written for the chapter of the nearby St. Mary’s Church, many song books of this chapter have been preserved in a miraculous way after the Reformation. From the same period a song will be sung by thirteenth-century mystic Hadewijch van Brabant. She was an inspiration for the Modern Devotion and has written a lot about a more intimate and individual bond with faith. In addition, various polyphonic chants will be presented by Flemish-Dutch composers from before and after the great storm, such as Josquin des Prez, his student Nicolas Gombert, Cipriano de Rore and, as major representative of late polyphony from the Northern Netherlands, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck . The latter wrote, among other things, polyphonic psalm settings that were sometimes sung in the church but more often for entertainment in people’s homes. Sweelinck has had a major influence on baroque music, his organ playing was an important inspiration for Johann Sebastian Bach. The poems of Francesco Petrarca have been set to music by many composers, for example the ‘Datemi Pace’ by Cipriano de Rore will be performed, but the Pulse Ensemble of this poet will furthermore play the ‘Hor che’l ciel e la especially for the quartet. playing terra ‘. This text was set to music in the spring of 2019 by the Flemish composer Kurt Bikkembergs. Another recent work is the “Natus me curas” by Sibelius, which will also sound on 28 December.